How I Decided to Become a Morning Person
This last month has been one of change and new beginnings for me. What sort of changes you might ask? Well, the shining star that is beaming brighter than all the others right now is that I’ve become more of a morning person. If you know me at all, you would know this is the most NOT ME thing ever.
I have been a night owl for as long as I can remember! I’ve practically bragged about the fact that I could happily sleep in until noon (or, lets be honest, much later), no matter what my bed time was. I LOVE sleeping. Sleeping in is one of the most extravagant things I think we can do for ourselves! However, a little over a month ago, something happened.
To begin, you need to know that I started going to a boxing gym, which has been a thrilling addition to my life and I’m totally obsessed. (I highly recommend it if you’ve been on the fence about boxing!) On a rather cold night a handful of weeks ago, my instructor had us run around the block a few times at the beginning of class. Now, I am not a runner by any stretch of the word. In fact, I’ve always been terrible at running. I’d get side stitches that would bring me to my knees when we had to run the mile in high school, and I’ve not really run since then. (For perspective, that was over 15 years ago, so it’s been awhile!) Needless to say, I didn’t come in first place in the “run around the block 3 times Olympics”! While I wasn’t the last runner to make it to the finish line, I didn’t do great, and this left me supremely disappointed in myself.
I’ve been seriously exercising for over a year at this point, and while I’m much stronger than I used to be and my stamina is way better, I realized I have so far to go.
What I also realized after that class is, not only do I not want to let myself down, but I really don’t want to let my instructor down either. Does my instructor really care if I am the first one to finish lapping the blocks? This beginner newbie boxer who has only been showing up to classes for a handful of weeks? Probably not in the slightest! Perhaps it’s because I’m a teacher as well that I feel this way, but being in a class always makes me want to try my hardest and do my best. Somehow I was triggered that night that I want to be great at this. I want to be as great as I can be, and I don’t want to let anyone down, be it my instructor or myself!
So...back to becoming a morning person. The whole reason you are here in the first place! This specific class changed my brain. I don’t know how, but it did. I no longer wanted to be bad at running. I wanted to be better. I wanted to prove to my teacher, even if I was in a sea of other newbie boxers, that I was serious and committed to improving.
So I did what I never thought I would do, and I woke up early. I set my alarm one and a half hours before I had to for work, and I went to the levee and ran. You heard me. I actually chose to get up early, and I chose to go running. Who am I?? What have I become? I tell you, it was the excitement of boxing class! I decided I wanted to condition myself at home so I would do better the next time I was in class, and if that meant waking up early and doing one of the things I've always hated most in life, I was going to do it.
Much to my surprise, as the days have gone by, I've actually decided that I'm fond of running! That's definitely something I never thought I would say in my life. I’m also finding that I’m loving the mornings! So without further ado, here are a few of the main things that I'm loving about this new life choice and what it gives me:
1. A routine:
Routines are everything! We are all creatures of habit, so once you get into something and do it every day, it slowly becomes second nature. This is a beautiful thing, and not something to take lightly! I believe it’s said that forming a new habit takes at least 21 days. So if you can commit to a few weeks of trying something new, you’re almost there! I noticed positive changes well before the 21 day mark and it’s kept me motivated to keep going.
2. Motivation for the day:
Even after the first morning, I already started to understand. I get why people work out in the morning instead of in the evening. As I said in the beginning, I’ve always been a night person, and mornings have been my nemesis. For a solid year I’ve done all my workouts after I get home from work. I had to motivate myself in an entirely different way to get that done! I would bike to work, have a long work day, bike home, and then squeeze in a workout before I had to cook dinner for myself. Sometimes I wouldn’t be eating until well after 9pm, which I was never excited about.
What I’ve been loving about this option, is it starts your day off on the right foot! You are moving, you are pumping your blood and getting your heart rate up right when the day begins, and you feel better for it when you’re done! My brain is more alert at work, and I start the day off with the motivation that I’ve already accomplished something huge, and that leaves me wanting to accomplish more throughout my day.
Also, when I get home from work, I have more time to do all the things I enjoy, be it working on my blog, spending time with my husband, or cuddling my pups!
3. Quality time with my husband, or having some amazing me time:
That’s right, I somehow convinced my husband to start running with me. Now we go together in the mornings, and I love it. With our lives constantly being filled with cell phones and computers and a million devices that keep our heads buried and away from conversation, this morning time has been really important. I choose to be device free when we go out in the mornings, and we can chat about the day ahead, and just have some us time!
However, he’s a musician, and on the nights he gets home super late and needs the extra sleep, I’ll still get up and run to the levee and do my workout alone. This is incredibly important as well! I’m learning as the days go by that I don’t have a lot of me time. I actually never really realized that until I started going to the levee alone to workout in the mornings, and I’ve come to understand just how incredibly important this time is. There is nothing like waking up and going to the Mississippi river, taking in the silence and the city view, working hard, and feeling alive.
4. Easing into the day:
Another way this impacts my day is that I have time to relax in the morning before I go to work! This is something I’ve never had before. Being someone who loves sleeping more than almost anything, I would press snooze at least four times, and once I finally got up, I would be super late, always scrambling to get myself together in time so I wouldn’t miss the ferry to work.
Now, my mornings have an entirely different shape. Part of the routine is after working out, I take time to grab a coffee and walk back through my neighborhood. It’s super peaceful, knowing I’ve given myself this extra time to wake up and to better myself. Plus, giving myself time to walk around my gorgeous neighborhood each morning is another great addition to starting my day!
5. Time to enjoy:
Like I said, my old habits made my mornings a compete rush. I’d wake up late, scramble to get ready, have no time for conversation with my husband, no time to spend with my dogs, and certainly no time to sit down for breakfast.
Now, I’ve balanced my mornings so that when I get back from my workout, I have time to finish my coffee on the porch with my dogs and my husband, I’m no longer hurried to shower and get dressed for work, and I have time to sit and enjoy my breakfast, no longer needing to shove some food in my face quickly and run out the door.
So y’all, for real! If you can give yourself this extra time in the morning, I’m telling you, it’s the ultimate gift! I'm just over a month in, and I’m seeing such positive changes. Do I want to wake up every time that alarm goes off? No, absolutely not! Do I still press snooze a handful of times before I ultimately roll out of bed? One hundred percent yes, I do! But even on the hardest mornings, where I think there is no way I can do it, I do it anyway. I get up and walk to the river, and once I’m out there, I’m always so glad I made the effort to start my day this way. Who would have thought that all this change would come from starting a boxing class? Wonders never cease!
So how about you? Are you a morning or night person? What’s your morning routine like?